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Probabilistic Modeling Of Ocular Biomechanics In VIIP: Risk StratificationVisual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) syndrome is a major health concern for long-duration space missions. Currently, it is thought that a cephalad fluid shift in microgravity causes elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) that is transmitted along the optic nerve sheath (ONS). We hypothesize that this in turn leads to alteration and remodeling of connective tissue in the posterior eye which impacts vision. Finite element (FE) analysis is a powerful tool for examining the effects of mechanical loads in complex geometries. Our goal is to build a FE analysis framework to understand the response of the lamina cribrosa and optic nerve head to elevations in ICP in VIIP. To simulate the effects of different pressures on tissues in the posterior eye, we developed a geometric model of the posterior eye and optic nerve sheath and used a Latin hypercubepartial rank correlation coef-ficient (LHSPRCC) approach to assess the influence of uncertainty in our input parameters (i.e. pressures and material properties) on the peak strains within the retina, lamina cribrosa and optic nerve. The LHSPRCC approach was repeated for three relevant ICP ranges, corresponding to upright and supine posture on earth, and microgravity [1]. At each ICP condition we used intraocular pressure (IOP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) measurements of in-flight astronauts provided by Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health Program, NASA Johnson Space Center. The lamina cribrosa, optic nerve, retinal vessel and retina were modeled as linear-elastic materials, while other tissues were modeled as a Mooney-Rivlin solid (representing ground substance, stiffness parameter c1) with embedded collagen fibers (stiffness parameters c3, c4 and c5). Geometry creationmesh generation was done in Gmsh [2], while FEBio was used for all FE simulations [3]. The LHSPRCC approach resulted in correlation coefficients in the range of 1. To assess the relative influence of the uncertainty in an input parameter on the peak strains, we ranked and then normalized these coefficients, considering that normalized values 0.5 implied a substantial influence on the range of the peak strains in the optic nerve head (ONH). IOP and ICP were found to have a major influence on the peak strains in the ONH, as did optic nerve and LC stiffness. Interestingly, the stiffness of the sclera far from the scleral canal did not have a large influence on peak strains in ONH tissues; however, the collagen fiber stiffness in the peripapillary sclera and annular ring both influenced the peak strains within the ONH. We have created a physiologically relevant model that incorporated collagen fibers to study the effects of elevated ICP. Elevated ICP resulted in strains in the optic nerve that are not predicted to occur on earth: the upright or supine conditions. We found that IOP, ICP, lamina cribrosa stiffness and optic nerve stiffness had the highest association with these extreme strains in the ONH. These extreme strains may activate mechanosensitive cells that induce tissue remodeling and are a risk factor for the development of VIIP.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Feola, A.
(Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Myers, J. G.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Raykin, J.
(Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Nelson, E. S.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Mulugeta, L.
(Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX, United States)
Samuels, B.
(Alabama Univ. Birmingham, AL, United States)
Ethier, C. R.
(Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Date Acquired
October 19, 2016
Publication Date
February 9, 2016
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop (HRP IWS 2016)
Location: Galveston, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: February 8, 2016
End Date: February 11, 2016
Sponsors: NASA Johnson Space Center
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 516724.01.02.10
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
physiological response
gravitational physiology
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